Monday 20 November 2023
Those were your human rights...
As we don't like them, we'll impose another set!
(apologies to Groucho Marx)
The ownership of persons by other persons has not been legal in the UK for nearly two centuries. Up until when variously wealthy 'owners' of other human beings were at 'liberty' to ease their financial woes via the buying and selling of their human chattel. Happy days!
The UK has moved on.
No longer is it legal for one UK citizen to buy or sell another. But, as our dubiously 'honourable Prime Minister has made clear to the nation, inconvenient laws shall not be permitted to shackle the British Electorate's express wishes. As of today, unless I've just missed the Right Honourable Lee Anderson, or the Right Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg making constitutionally protected statements to the contrary, no such wish currently bears weight.
Some might feign outrage at this comment or suggestion, spoken in certain 'polite' circles, or committed to the wrong column inches. But then, prior to the current Commons cabal- all its various guises- such a comment would have deserved no better. Since when the UK has undertaken something of a nosedive. So instead, here we find ourselves, basking in the faux-warmth of our latest two shameful events, seeming to have reopened whispered discussions we'd assumed off limits for the past two hundred years.
Two events transpired, both of which may haunt the UK for many decades to come. Shamefully, although of lesser human cost, the UK's serving Prime Minister addressed the House to express distain for the current rule of International Law, in so far as it enshrouds Human Rights. Dwarfing this, on a Genocidal scale we can currently only guess at, the UK's Parliament voted to permit the ongoing War Crime of Forced Transfer being enacted by Occupying Israel upon the Captive Palestinian Population. Further, lining up to stand and address the House, several faces wished to put a face to the endorsement. Arguably even less honourable, Navendu Mishra (Stockport) and Helen Hayse (Dulwich and West Norwood) spoke faux passionately about a Ceasefire before reverting to type and abstaining.
A ceasefire will 'freeze the conflict as it stands,' Sir Keir insists, although not at all convincingly so. But it is not a conflict, it is a Slaughter, a Genocide! Neither is it a 'conflict' in any international sense, Hamas is a resistance organisation and Israel is an occupying power, armed to the teeth by the dishonourable US and UK governments. Most of the globe recognises that freezing this horror show would be infinitely preferable to any form of continuation. It's worth noting that history- seldom a friend to Israel- shows Hamas to be far more likely to honour the Ceasefire.
"In Our Thousands In Our Millions We Are All Palestinians!" a chant which would have united those lining up to further the slaughter, had either 'Ukrainians' or 'Israelis' been substituted for 'Palestinians,' recognises that we could all- most of us- find ourselves targeted. Thankfully not yet under assault from similar western weaponry, yet targeted none the less. Homeless, under condemned canvass, stateless?
Home born British citizen Shamima Begum was a naive and impressionable child of 15 when, along with two fellow children, she was people-smuggled through Turkey to Syria to join ISIL (Islamic State) in Afghanistan. Shamima was the sole survivor of the trio, earning her a great deal of MSM generated hatred. She was one of several hundred British Citizens to have left the UK to fight for ISIS/ISIL, citing various motivations, under variously questionable means. Many of these citizens perished along with the crumbling state. Over two hundred remain unaccounted for.
Shamima Begum neither perished, nor did she die along with her classmates. She survived and should stand trial as a British Citizen. Instead the British Citizen was made stateless by one of the UK's conveyer belt Home Secretaries, Sajid Javid, unlawful under the British Nationality Act 1981, also contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, to which the UK is signatory. If she faced trial it seems likely that she would be convicted on charges of terrorism, she would be secure within a UK site of detention, the information she retains would likely prove useful to the UK. Undoubtedly, she is bright. She currently resides within the Al-Hawl Refugee Camp in Northern Syria. She is one of over 100,000,000 forcibly displaced global citizens. We can barely imagine how many more Palestinians are soon to add to the numbers.
That our government routinely lies to us is no longer the secret that we once pretended to ourselves we thought it was. This 'new' information has also, perhaps unwittingly, torn away a further layer to the conspiracy, that our government lies to us on the behalf of other governments. Some governments, certain individuals and collectives within those governments. In this instance that would be Israel!
First, in order for a government to lie to its citizens on behalf of another government, that government would need to pave the way by lying to citizens about itself. Well, conveniently to hand, we have a recent Observer undercover investigation into the depth to which the UK's Government now routinely shuts down valid criticism of policies and other actions undertaken by the same government. This is the 'Free Speech' government, remember. The Observer article reveals that this abuse was rife across fifteen departments, that the process deployed the trawling through and monitoring of the social media of 'identified individuals,' who were then cancelled and prevented from speaking at government-funded events. De-platformed, cancelled! Shock horror! One wonders what the Daily Mail brigade thinks.
Branching out, Chris Hedges of The Real News Network has also done some digging. Speaking with Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone there has been a great deal of piecing together of various reports leaking out of Israel and the IDF, regarding the event of 7th October. The linked report is titled, 'Did Israel's Military Kill Its Own Civilians on October 7th?' The report is under 45 minutes and specifically references the Israeli 'Hannibal Directive,' a procedure devised in order to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers. More specifically it draws together testimonies and other evidence collected in the immediate aftermath of the event. Light years ahead of anything coming out of the BBC, the report digs into the Israeli line of 'beheaded babies and burned corpses,' details of the site and precisely which Israeli divisions and munitions were deployed. No evidence of beheadings, no evidence of burnings! The UK fully understands which side has the capacity to 'melt' human flesh because there's a fair chance that we may have helped to develop that capacity and armed the perpetrators.
Such is the volume of IDF misinformation that, finally, reports about the absence of tunnel networks beneath hospitals is seeping out from even MSM journalists, some of them. In the 1950s the UK's overseas militias began enacting Operation Legacy, whereby a fabricated legacy of great empire had to be protected. In panicked retreat, thousands of files were torched! If Israel plans to similarly protect its legacy then it hasn't factored in the towering evidence of War Crimes, teetering before anyone prepared to just look up. Can a green-lit Israel seriously be trusted now, not to line up Lebanon in its sights, Syria? The nation of Israel lives in constant fear we are eternally being fed. Tracing the potential reasons for any such eventality surely lays much of the cause at the feet of the most heavily armed nation in the region, the one most likely to fire off a few rounds as and when, almost upon a whim. No worries, Western Nations will cover for you, aka lie!
So, how can it be that Hamas is ajudged 'terrorist' whereas Israel is not?
In Our Thousands In Our Millions We Are All Palestinians!
Recently departed Home secretary- clones Rees-Mogg, Anderson et al- hit the ground running when she was first appointed. She swiftly identified the most convenient distraction groups, maybe she already had them all lined up in priority order. Unless the files have been committed to paper the chances of discovering quite how far down the list any of us is (or was) is unlikely. Excepting the chance that some of us are already there, reaping the hatred she has sown.
"We've got that many people 'ere and we're looking after them but we're not looking after our own!" one gentleman complained. "People who work in the courts, they've got money, they're okay," "We're giving all our money to the asylum seekers!" a lady chipped in. "I know in some countries it's hard for them, I really do understand that. It is a shame but we need to look after our own back yard first!" a wise head shared, signing off with an affirming nod.
Just for reference, this is how we look after our own. Here's footage of Camden Council removing tents, tents that were formerly occupied by some of 'our own.' MPs Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Tulip Siddiq, both New Labour, can hold their heads high.
Asylum Seekers, possibly displaced via the arms the UK shovels off to foreign shores, may now be numbered 'in their thousands, in their millions!' Lessons to be drawn upon the 'nature' of humanity must truly be mind-numbingly ugly, when some of those granted Refugee Status are able to step so very lightly from persecuted to persecutor and yet so they have. Under Braverman's watch there is now a far greater chance that asylum seekers still awaiting processing may find themselves dicing with severe ill health, care of one of his highness's prison ships, or other unsavoury locations. An increasingly 'socially acceptable' tented homeless population- 'in their thousands, in their millions!'- has been demoted up the priority list. Sub-contractors have been filmed loading the homes and possessions of some of the nation's homeless, demonstrating precisely how we 'look after our own!' With heating and food bills up astronomically where may we find the renter's on the list? What about those who have recently defaulted on their mortgages, care of Andrew Bailey's slight of hand? MNM bemoans the coming season's projected retail losses yet none seem prepared to just join up the dots. Look! Was that an illegal Russian invasion? Look away, Israel has a right to bomb Palestine into oblivion! Curse the dratted Pandemic legacy, otherwise the nation would be flying! Really, the home team has made all the right moves!
'In their thousands, in their millions!' will the next scapegoat please step into the cross hairs!
Honest, if our politicians and representatives could just get the current crises out of the way the very next priority is to sort out the UK's housing crisis, the UK's homeless crisis, the UK's energy crisis, the UK's transport crisis, the UK's climate obligations... We've got an absolute A Team on it!
On a more positive note, it was truly heart warming to see and meet so many people on Armistice Saturday's march. I've read that David Baddiel wasn't there because he was "living [in] dread" because of the "anger" many on the march felt over Israel's Genocide and Collective Punishment upon Occupied Palestine. The Jewish family with whom I spent the earliest part of the march didn't display any such 'dread.' Absolutely, there was a great deal of 'anger,' much of it directed towards the Israeli Government and the Official Opposition's Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, Former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, none of it towards any of the many, many Jewish people also marching, marching in support of humanity and common decency, against the sort of inhuman brutality and evil acts from which so many current enablers are likely to wish to distance themselves in the coming years.
I'm currently living with a dread. It's a small consolation that I'll be able to look my granddaughter in the eye in the coming years. But what can I tell her?
In Our Thousands In Our Millions We Are All Palestinians! Absolutely we are!
Thursday 9 November 2023
I am a refugee!
I am a socialist!
I am not represented!
Well, I am still just about permitted to openly converse with family, neighbours, friends and colleagues, few of whom seem to wish, or are rationally able, to contest the issue. In which case, they may also currently remain unheard. Few if any of us is really being represented at present, not in any seriously democratic manner!
A few months prior to settling down to a second screening of 'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: The Big Lie,' I sat through a heart-wrenching showing of 'Eleven Days in May.' 'The Big Lie,' I endeavoured to watch through twice, more because this very act seemed to so enrage Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, than because it unearthed anything unanticipated or new. Outrageous, undemocratic, troubling, all these things and more, none of them good, but nothing new. 'Eleven Days in May,' is far too harrowing to, yet, consider a second sitting! It documents a tiny window into just a few of the Gazan families who lost beloved children to Israel's bombing campaign of May 2021. Much of the footage is shown from the perspectives of the targeted children's surviving siblings and closest friends. Two-and-a-half years later few of us cannot even begin to contemplate where or if those families still survive. 'Eleven Days in May,' has since been violently dwarfed by the War Crimes currently unfolding inside Gaza, and, undercover upon a far smaller scale, inside the West Bank.
Home Secretary Braverman seeks to twist and to butcher history, such that it fits her narrative. Ms Braverman would have us believe that both prior to, and post, 7th May 2023 life inside the Occupied Territories and Israel existed in some sort of alternative reality, perhaps her idea of Utopia? She faces the camera and speaks as if the events of 7th May 2023 exist in some sort of hermetically sealed vacuum, with neither context nor consequence. As if her hands, and those of others, may be washed clean. A woman who has mastered the nuances of absolute hatred, her sights are currently upon the Palestinians, asylum-seekers specifically to UK shores and the homeless but it could just as easily be you or me, or Israel, should the winds change.
Another facet of UK legacy in mind, King Charles is attempting to circumvent other inconvenient facts in Kenya (Mau Mau) but
History does not work like that!
It squeaks out through the cracks, sometimes decades too late. Incontrovertibly, Denied facts remain facts!
Step away from royal protocols and draw the obvious parallels with Gaza and the West Bank, parallels whose silence currently screams through the 'politer' editorial suites of MSM.
One book that meticulously maps out the Israeli onslaught, the Genocide, upon the Palestinians, both inside and beyond the border, thus contextualising 7th May 2023, is Rashid I. Khalidi's volume, 'The Hundred Years' War on Palestine.' The Chapters detail:
* From the Balfour Declaration in 1917, when one occupying nation handed over a landmass that wasn't their's, into the control of a second occupier- the Mandate for Palestine. The land was already populated but those people mattered not to Lord Balfour.
* The 1948 Nakba. The 'Catastrophe,' when an estimated 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes; towns, villages, communities, mosques, whole regions displaced, erased! Written over! An Ethnic Cleansing! The refugee families to this day being denied the right to return by the occupying Israelis.
* Israel's 1967 annexation of chunks of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Eastern Jerusalem, now termed the Occupied Territories of the Gaza Strip, West Bank and the Golan Heights. International law still regards those territories as 'occupied!' The Golan Heights, then home to thousands of Palestinian families has all but been 'atomised,' via ongoing Israeli bulldozing of homes and the persecution, terrorizing and state-protected murder of locals.
* Israel's expanding 1982 war into Lebanon, supposedly to eradicate many of the formerly displaced Palestinians.
* Israeli's protracted eight-year period of intensifying bombing (1987-95), allegedly consequent to Palestinian resistance (First Intifada) to the previous forty years of annexation and persecution by the upwardly-US-enabled, surely ironically titled, Israeli Defence Force.
* Culminating with the 2000-2014 periods of rise-and-fall of bombardments, under increasingly sophisticated US supplied weaponry.
If Rashid's book was being composed in the black shadow of today's Genocide and Second Nakba it would be a far, far weightier tome. We can only speculate as to the volume of any speculated additional, updated chapter, should this ever happen!
Those years not covered in the book should be regarded as years of, perhaps more invisible, everyday Israeli violence, enacted upon the Palestinians. Everyday! Generally not internationally newsworthy! Just the every day and ongoing Israeli murder of the oppressed Palestinians. In the context of, perhaps consequent to, towering BBC-circumvented awareness, the book is now a best seller. Ms Braverman's narrative wishes to seriously amend but history is not (yet) her's to control! Her version will not be widely read.
So, barely contextualised, here's a considered timeline...
The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has morphed many times since its origins. Even at it's outset its objectives were questionable, although the extent to which supposedly democratic governments have been undermined will have then been way beyond the wildest dreams of even its least honourable proponent. Supposedly, AIPAC's 1953 purpose was to 'influence' USA future legislation on matters relating to Israel. In 1951 the shadow and shame of WW2 was still immense- few would have objected- few could have then imagined into what it may have evolved in the intervening six decades. Prior to AIPAC striding from infancy to adulthood even Pinochet-friendly Thatcher was loathe to fall in step with Israel's expansionist ambitions.
AIPAC prefers to operate below the radar, in the shadows, and why not, it's hardly a democratic asset. AIPAC does not, officially, operate inside the UK but its fingers of influence are far reaching, beyond what any other nation, save perhaps the USA, can imagine. AIPAC necessarily dresses down so as not to attract attention. The Pinsker Centre, lovechild of AIPAC, boasts its aims as, "A think tank supporting free speech and open debate on university campuses," and under this cloak it immediately set about doing exactly the opposite. Apart from the 'McCarthyite' Jewish Chronicle and its interchangeable cousin, Jewish News- in breach of the watery IPSO Code of Practice as many as 28 times- there are increasingly 'untouchable' lobbyists now encamped in all three major political parties: Conservative Friends of Israel, Labour Friends of Israel, Jewish Labour Movement, Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel. The AIPAC acronym has barely registered within the UK's MSM, and yet- think more widely of the USA- it's darkening shadow has never yet permitted the light of justice to shine down upon the residents of Palestine. Even in the midst of a televised Genocide Labour's front bench may not progress beyond "Israel has a right to defend itself!"
A gradual yet relentless deflation of the (self-proclaimedly impartial) BBC, more so under thirteen unbroken years of increasingly dictatorial Conservative Government. The demise is impossible to pinpoint precisely, so, under the same shadow...
The Guardian replaces Editor Alan Rusbridger with Katherine Viner, whereupon investigative journalism is sacrificed to 'choice' opinion columns, more tabloid styled, more tightly edited. The feedback 'comment' of readers falls under a new and more partisan censorship. Many of the paper's better journalists drift away, or are otherwise pushed out. Thus, the 'paper' is perfectly positioned to take up arms with the coming anti-Semitism smears. In recent weeks long-standing and highly-respected cartoonist Steve Bell is the latest to fall foul of Viner's editorial 'slant.'
Accusations of raging anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party, are sparked in Lee Harpin's Jewish Chronicle, after the Labour Party's unexpectedly positive showing in the General Election. Not known at the time, certain Labour MPs and staffers tirelessly work to undermine their own party's chances. MSM devote the next four years to bringing down the then Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Since when several thorough investigations into the anti-Semitism claims have been undertaken, subsequently and to different degrees suppressed, sometimes by the very same person (Sir Keir) that instigated the investigation: Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into Racism, Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism (2016), Forde Report (2020), The Lobby, TV series (2017). Sir Keir's Labour is tight-lipped about the growing evidence, which continues to leak through the cover-ups- example Ben Westerman recorded in John Ware's Panorama, 'Labour and Anti-Semitism' (17th February 2019), misrepresenting his own assertion of anti-Semitism. Reported here in the Guardian, somewhat ironic, four years too late! The news agenda soon moves on. History!
Brexit happens. Key amongst the reasons cited for the UK shooting itself in the foot and voting to cut itself adrift from its closest neighbours and allies, is 'Taking Back Control!' Sovereignty and control of borders is lost to an increasingly reactionary Government. Asylum Seekers are scapegoated as figures of contempt, even hatred! A tightly edited press orchestrates attacks on asylum-seekers and refugees, many of whom may well have been made homeless via overseas use of GB sourced arms. Victims of persecution, torture and war, those who do not perish en route, are 'housed' in inhuman conditions, prisons, the Legionnaire's-infested Bibby Stockholme prison ship. Some are packed into seaside holiday resort hotels, then targeted by angry tabloid-inflamed droids. There is open talk of enabling the sinking of refugee-packed inflatables.
With its mask of 'new found' sovereignty the UK lurches yet further rightwards, more accepting of homelessness, more racist- genuine cases of anti-Semitism are up, likely in consequence of the weaponisation of the same hate-crime. The UK is more unequal, more intolerant of asylum-seekers, more intolerant of Europe, more arrogant, more isolated!
AIPAC continues to shackle huge numbers of both Republicans and Democrats in the US. America's narrative increasingly dictates that of the UK! But, we're not yet in the realms of an alternate reality... Right? Or are we? Either, 'to such an extent has the narrative been cast into the realm of the alternate reality' or else similar forces have 'relinquished that grasp upon this reality. Ponder this! Marks and Spencer have been forced to pull their 2023 Christmas Ad. Further, Marks and Spencer have released a statement: "We have removed the post following feedback and we apologise for any unintentional hurt caused." Hurt? How, where? We learn that the alarm was raised by 'several social media users.' Right. Several, was it? Upset by... The Benin flag, was it? Or maybe it was Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burundi? No perhaps, Cameroon, Comoros, surely Comoros! Unless maybe, the Republic of Congo? But wait, what about Equatorial Guinea or Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau? No, surely Guyana? Yes, Guyana! Unless perhaps, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait looks suspicious. Maybe Lithuania, Libya, Malawi? Or was it Mali, Martinique seems possible? Mauritania, Mauritius? Mozambique for sure! Except... Myanmar, Namibia, New Caledonia, Niger, Oman? Saint Kitts and Nevis? Nah! Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal? Then there's the Seychelles, no? South Africa, or was it maybe South Sudan, or maybe just Sudan? Suriname, Tajikistan, Togo, United Arab Emirates? Vanuatu looks guilty, or maybe not? Surely not neighbouring Wales? Western Sahara or Zimbabwe? Nope, it's definitely, definitely Palestine! And as many as 40 complaints? Wow! Maybe it's elemental fire itself? Christmas? The variably-watery regulator, Ofcom, says it is reviewing complaints to determine whether weightier action is required. Best first identify the flag, then, or the season. Or the 'element!' Fire can be mighty destructive! "Unintentional hurt!" but no, definitely Palestine!
Somebody's definitely controlling a narrative here! Marks and Spencer has caved and taken down Christmas, some of it. Further, they've cowed and apologised, awaiting further punishment. One wonders whether, down the line, many northern hemisphere countries will now be required to rethink their flag. Just in case! Is there any salvation to be found in the happy fact that the vast majority of southern hemisphere countries are, increasingly urgently, demanding that Israel stops bombing innocent civilians! Ceasefire now! Armistice! Even the Pinsker Centre might have their work cut out with the Celtic fans in this link. They can't all be Marks and Spencer regulars?
After a sustained, four-year series of attacks upon the Labour Party the General Election is lost. Twitchy, more openly dishonest, Sir Keir misrepresents himself, clear through to new Leader of the Labour Party. Like an old man tripping and stumbling through a barricade of upturned furniture, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, breaks more pledges and promises than does Boris Johnson, as he crampons over and shuts down many of his betters. To this day, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is prepared to lie remorselessly, shoring up leaking evidence that anti-Semitism in the Party was indeed weaponised. Starmer, himself, is on film saying as much. Sir Keir's documented lies are too numerous to list here, the accumulation leading several journalists to start to delve more scrupulously into the man's record at Head of the Crown Prosecution Service.
15th May 2021:
The Israeli Defence Force targets the Al-Jalaa Building, levelling the site. Inside are news outlets, Al Jazeera, Associated Press and other news organisations. Israel's closest ally, the US, and all other sources have never since seen evidence that Hamas ever used the site. The attack was condemned by multiple journalists; Reporters Without Borders called for a War Crimes investigation. The news agenda soon moves on. History! AIPAC?
So, it must be beyond reasonable doubt- barely touched upon in the UK- that the IDF are not, in fact, after Hamas. A year before the Guardian replaced Rusbridger with Viner, back in July 2014, the paper sacked journalist, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, when he reported upon ongoing Israeli colonisation of Palestinian resources. The same, shutting-down agenda may be seen in current government attempts at shackling BDS.
11th May 2022:
Israeli Government and the IDF increasingly push their agenda onto UK media. Frequently, the BBC does not bother to question the honesty of Israeli or IDF spokespeople. An increasingly impotent United Nations and International Criminal Court are sidelined by Israel, often via the puppeteering US, perhaps again AIPAC? In such a climate the IDF guns down fully-jacketed journalist, Shireen Abu Ahkla, one amongst a growing line of murdered colleagues. The news agenda soon moves on. More History!
In a brief window when international Media display (limited) outrage, it is made possible to (mis)believe two things: that the killing is committed by a non IDF individual, also that killing of journalists inside the Occupied Territories is an isolated occurrence. Dutifully, MSM quickly move on. By the time that it is admitted by the IDF, that the killing is perpetrated by an IDF sniper news media is already busily diluting the news with other, newer 'newsworthy' events. Still the incident is presented as 'an isolated' incident. In reality the targeting of journalists inside the Occupied Territories happens too frequently to be anything other than strategic. On 2nd May 2001 Welsh Cameraman James Miller is gunned down whilst filming inside Gaza. The IDF defaults to misinformation. A UK court finds that Miller had been murdered but, after a closed Israeli 'investigation,' killer, First Lieutenant Hib al-Heib, is promoted to Captain. Many foreign journalists have succumbed to current Israel strikes, several known to have been operating at sites away from immediate conflict. The true numbers of brave and real journalists lost to their vocation inside Gaza may now only be possible to estimate in the eventual aftermath.
Jodie Ginsberg, President of the Committee to Protect Journalists, has said that their organisation is, post 7th May 2023, struggling beyond anything it has before encountered. The situation for journalists reporting inside Gaza is more perilous than during any other conflict. In 30 years of documentation the organisation has found none to be so dangerous as Gaza 2023! The IDF want to control (corrupt) the narrative and so have targeted and murdered at least 36 journalists in 4 weeks. Under the rubble the facts will likely prove to be even worse! CNN, who have broadcast the above, linked 'snippet,' have only been permitted certain protections, from this period onwards, because they have 'agreed' to run all future footage under the forensic microscope of the IDF. This Narrative is lost! The news moves on. More history!
26th September 2022:
The undersea Nord Stream Pipeline is sabotaged. Russia's means of supplying gas to Europe is severed. Immediately, the US cites Russia who, obvious to the Rest of the World, are the nation least likely to have done so. Almost immediately, various trusted sources find themselves favouring a US or US-sourced attack. The US steps in to corner the gap in the overseas gas market. The news agenda soon moves on. More History!
In June 2023 Israel grant approval for the development of Gaza Marine, an oil strip off the Gazan coast thought to contain an estimated trillion tonnes of natural gas. Israel will reap the benefits of the occupying power!
The nation knows what happened on 7th May 2023, every broadcast moment of doubt cast upon the Israeli orchestrated Genocide of Gaza is drowned beneath echoed condemnation of the act, although the 'act' is almost never contextualised. Often the echoed condemnation of the act of 7th May 2023 subsumes questioning of the ongoing Genocide. The act of 7th May 2023 slots into the narrative, shortly after used by MSM as the filter, deployed such that each and every condemnation of Israeli Collective Punishment becomes diluted, of somehow lesser weight. 'Israel has the right to defend itself!' we are fed, yet 'Palestine does not!' we are led to deduce. Such butchering of news reporting is not possible without AIPAC (1953) and the multiple Israeli lobbyists and groups interwoven into our MSM and Parliament.
There are surely only so many times that "Israel has a right to defend itself!" may be echoed before the sheer weight of Genocide, War Crimes, Collective Punishment, Targeting of Civilians, Forced Transfer, will bury the act of 7th May 2023? History will judge the moment, whether it be long since past or current. PM Sunak, Home Secretary Braverman, Foreign Secretary Cleverly, Sir Keir Starmer MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary Lammy, et al, can only echo the deflection so many times before the sonic-screen wears thin, people again able to detect the denied truths. For the sake of all Palestinians we must pray that the weight of culpability bears weight now! Before yet more Innocent Lives are Consumed Beneath a MSM Enabled Rage and Hatred!
From the Red Cross Site: Rights of International Law (Occupied and International Humanitarian Law) states that:
* The occupant does not acquire sovereignty over the territory.
* To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the occupying power must ensure sufficient hygiene and public health standards, as well as the provision of food and medical care to the population under occupation.
* Collective or individual forcible transfers of population from and within the occupied territory are prohibited.
* Collective punishment is prohibited.
* Reprisals against protected persons or their property are prohibited.
* Private property cannot be confiscated by the occupier.
* The Occupying State (Israel) bears these obligations.
* The Occupied People (Palestinians) have the international rights to resist occupation.
International law may have been ridden over, yet it is still there. Historians, academics of more honourable intent, will still record the events. At some indeterminate period in the planet's uncertain future, another like an Israeli equivalent to King Charles may be required to deliver the message of consolation, the Israeli 'Contrition' for their Enacted Genocide! One can merely speculate as to whether the enabling colonial powers will also be taking the stand, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, several EU Nations? The news will move on! More history!
A Second Nakba accelerates. The cause, or the excuse, is well known. Inside Gaza and the other Occupied Territories, largely unreported , Palestinians know that The 1948 Nakba never really finished, it just slowed, simmered, lurched and chipped away! Relentlessly so! Now, the Israelis are off the leash! At least Israeli Cabinet Minister, Amihai Eliyahu, hopes so.
Israeli reprisals have been swift, draconian and disproportionate! But then, anybody who has been following Israel in the real news recognises that Israel's treatment of Palestinians has always been thus. Gaza is a smouldering graveyard. A smouldering graveyard, enabled by, amongst others, the UK. Israeli Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu's rabid hatred briefly appears to stand apart from many of his fellow warmongers but it is an illusion. It is more likely that he has been disciplined by Netanyahu for such an open 'admission' that the nation possesses nuclear weapons, than because he is so eager to deploy them. The wreckage and deaths may well have already surpassed those of the man-monster's vile dreams! Have we, in our nation's part, enabled Israel's Final Solution for the Palestinians?
Israel demands release of all hostages taken (242 BBC) by Hamas, the world concurs. MSM neglects to mention that last month over 2,000 Palestinians were imprisoned, many subjected to torture. The same MSM neglects to demand release of Palestinians being held in Israeli cells. The precise numbers are unknown but it is estimated that Israel currently holds approximately 7,000 Palestinians. It is currently impossible to calculate the number of children being held. The War Crimes are many yet the specifics may prove more poignant!
19th October 2023:
A missile, one amongst thousands, kills hundred of Palestinians at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital! Hamas cite an Israeli air strike! The IDF cite Hamas but most UN and other humanitarian workers at the site are convinced the explosion and destruction are caused by an IDF strike. US President Biden, reading from the given hymn sheet, cites, "the other team." But the world does not seriously concur. IDF spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagri, lends a face to the desired narrative. The cards he holds up are not quite high school mock-ups, the Huey and Dewey tape he dutifully translates falls further below the low bar! Rear Admiral Daniel Hagri looks relaxed, not quite smiling. But, his assumed confidence is misplaced. Israel may well possess one of the most heavily armed militias on the planet, they may well be comfortable with a monopoly upon Western MSM but they are over-confident, unrehearsed! The media regurgitates the narrative but nobody seriously believes him. Acting as they please, the IDF presents like an infant who has not even bothered to wipe the chocolate from his face. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagri knows he is lying and we know he knows he is lying. In his eyes it is possible to detect that he knows that we know that he knows he is lying.
The BBC are lost, flailing somewhere between a proscribed narrative, bolstered through both Labour and Tory ministers, far too many IDF spokespeople and comment from Editor of the Spectator on one hand, and some sort of Ghost of Christmas Truth on the other. Murdoch's Times newspaper publishes an article entitled, 'BBC Staff Crying at Work Over Israel-Gaza Coverage,' (25th October 2023.) The article opens a lid on growing unrest at the corporation's inability to properly hold Israel to account, the BBC's not so subtle acceptance of dehumanising language used by the IDF to portray and misrepresent Palestinians, it brings into question an inability to break free from the handed-down narrative. Spouting Sir Keir's particular spin, Wes Streeting,, looks to blind audiences to Genocide with 'Israel's right to defend itself.' But the message is wearing thin. Over 300 hundred high school pupils walk out of an assembly he is 'addressing' at Beal High School, Ilford. Just twenty or so remain, 'opportunity' for Labour to deploy its honed art of the tight camera angle? 400 hundred constituents later gather outside his office, demanding Labour back the Ceasefire. Another of Starmer's front-benchers resigns. Where is the BBC? The dead lie buried under the rubble of their former homes! The news moves on! History!
Award winning journalist, Jonathan Cook- another who used to occasionally write for the Guardian- offers the sort of insight so often lacking with the UK's media. He contextualises the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital strike via the language openly spoken by the army of occupation and siege- "human animals," "damage not accuracy," "[Gaza reduced] to a city of tents." Jonathan Cook has studied and knows Israeli tactics, he recalls the two smaller 'warning' strikes, delivered earlier, the 'Get Out!' order. He draws attention to the powerful 'Whoosh!' of a larger, targeted munition. He shows us that Israeli Adviser to Netanyahu, Hananya Naftali, posted/gloated about the IDF strike. He does proper journalism, citing pulled and suppressed videos with the wrong time-stamp, that the constructed tape of so-called 'surprised Hamas operatives is in the wrong dialect, that it had been manipulated. He situates the 'incident' upon the established timeline of former IDF misinformation and lies. But, the doubt is sown. The news moves on! History! Little wonder Jonathan Cook is not comfortable at the Guardian.
31st October 2023:
An IDF airstrike smashes into the Jabalia Refugee Camp in Northern Gaza! The BBC are on it with 'clarification' from IDF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, perhaps BBC staff are again crying in the toilets. Brushing aside collateral body parts, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus 'elaborates upon the 'vast underground tunnel complex, proof of which the world is not permitted to see, in which "multiple dozens" of Hamas fighters allegedly died. This, he tells us, "cannot be avoided." He announces the IDF is investigating claims of “collateral damage” and “non-combatant casualties.” Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus has form. so, unfortunately, does the BBC. The Hamas-run government media office speaks of 195 Palestinians killed, conceivably none of whom is deployed by Hamas. The rubble has yet to reveal the truer numbers.
The BBC ‘colludes’ with the IDF in order to ‘safely pierce’ the Israeli ring about Gaza. The corporation ‘reports’ being ‘shown’ the “miles of tunnels used by Hamas fighters.” Independent journalism is not permitted. The world is denied corroborated evidence that there were ever any tunnels beneath Jabalia Refugee Camp.
3rd November 2023:
An Israeli airstrike is targeted upon a convoy of ambulances at the Al-Shifa Hospital. Bodies, and parts thereof, scattered, Palestinians and other relief workers, paramedics, children, women! But, hey, the IDF have 'confirmed' an unspecified number of Hamas operatives are amongst the body-parts. Israeli Collective Punishment continues unabated. BBC holds the line. The news moves on! More history!
5th November 2023:
State of the art Israeli missile thuds into Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp, killing scores of Palestinian Refugees. Turkish Journalist for Anadolu, Mohammad Al-Aloul, learns that four of his five children, four brothers and their children are all killed in the strike. The bereft photographer breaks down on camera. The images of his distress are hard to watch. Yet, the incident is far from isolated, nor is it an error, nor is his family 'collateral.' Journalist homes are being specifically targeted by the IDF. The Israeli Defence Force tells Reuters and Agence France Presse it cannot guarantee the safety of their journalists in Gaza, leading the news agencies to release a joint statement describing the situation on the ground as “dire.” On 31st October Palestinian TV Correspondent, Mohammad Abu Hattab is killed along with 11 members of his family, targeted in his home in Southern Gaza, to where Israel has demanded Palestinians flee. As of 3rd November 31 Palestinian Journalists, 4 Israeli and 1 Lebanese Journalists have been killed. In so far as it is possible to determine- the entire purpose of honest journalism- 3 more are missing, 8 injured and 8 more detained, presumably for undertaking independent journalism. 5th November 2023 is just one date amongst many! BBC launch 'BBC Verify' "Transparency in action – fact-checking, verifying video, countering disinformation, analysing data and explaining complex stories in the pursuit of truth," your BBC boasts. Will it deal with the 'staff crying in toilets' issue? Will it pick through the selected weight of the verbs it deploys? Will it also search out the omitted detail that has been left in the editing suite? Will it show consumers that "we understand that their trust must be earned"? As ever, the news moves on! More history!
Frequently repeated, The First Casualty of War is Truth. Site HonestReporting claims "We embrace the principle that a healthy democracy requires a well informed citizenry.” HR's mission speaks of “truth, integrity and fairness.” But, read on, “as [journalism] impacts Israel.” Broadening stated goals, it has now stamped authority far beyond the claimed mission, naming journalists daring still to report with integrity inside ‘Israel’s kill zone,’ HR is ‘painting targets upon journalist’s backs.’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office states, “These journalists were accomplices in crimes against humanity.” “The ‘photojournalists’ who took part in recording the assault will be added to that list,” Danny Danon (Israeli Parliament) adds. HR’s HonestReporting’s Chief Executive Officer is Jacki Alexander, formerly AIPAC. Executive Director is Gil Hoffman, formerly Chief Political Correspondent, Jerusalem Post. Editorial Director is Simon Plosker, who formerly worked for the Israeli Government. Small world! Availing itself of the IDF editing service, Telegraph reporter Paul Nuki, Global Health Security Editor, appears content to condemn those still clinging to life inside the Indonesian Hospital. “Most agree that the Indonesian Hospital is empty now of patients and is simply being used by Hamas to wage war. Taking it down with an air strike to finish the fighting must surely be tempting,” Global Health man relays from the handed script. The IDF has boasted that, devoid of patients, the site becomes a legitimate target. No journalism awards for Paul then! Political and historical scholars will document the enabling of War Crimes. Genocide compounds. News moves on.
12:45pm, Saturday 11th November 2023:
In this context the number of global citizens prepared to gather, march, chant, question the coverage, swells! They are "Hate Marches!" Home secretary Braverman spits more confected hatred into the lens, just in case we'd forgotten how to recognise the rawness of the emotion. She appears increasingly unhinged! And, I was considering giving the next march a miss. Braverman seems set upon recruiting more citizens than she is intimidating. My seat is duly booked, travelling down for the next Hate March. We'll be calling for an Amnesty! a Ceasefire! Ms Braverman. I think you'll find they're one and the same thing.
Listening to the Home Secretary- reluctantly so- positively bristle under the weight, we now know what to look out for. We must be sure to keep an eye out for the hate platoons on this Saturday's march. One wonders how it was possible, twice, to completely fail to link up? Twice? Dare we venture that, just maybe, Ms Braverman is more interested in carrying on the Johnson legacy than she is in actually identifying any hatred? Looking very much in the wrong direction, Sue! There's far greater capacity for hatred in Ms Braverman and her predecessor than there is, and was, amongst the thousands with whom I marched, mingled and chanted. Ms Braverman certainly shows a fonder taste for the lie upon the tongue.
* Israel has occupied the entirety of Palestine for 56 years, really it is 75 years! The UK arms Occupying Israel to the tune of £216 million (figures for 2017). Palestine must not resist the occupation with any form of aggression, although international law actually permits this. More than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed since 7th October 2023, although sources in Israel boast twice this. The Palestinian flag is shunned by UK parliamentarians, some pushing for its presence to be considered a hate crime. The imposition of ‘Sanctions against Israel’ could soon be considered against the law.
* Russia has occupied regions of Ukraine for 19 months. The UK arms Occupied Ukraine to the tune of £216 million (2022). Ukraine must resist the ‘tyranny’ and push Russia back beyond its borders. Up to 70,000 Ukrainians have been killed during 21 months of conflict. The Ukrainian flag is celebrated by UK parliamentarians, encouraged to be flown wherever feasible to do so. Sanctions against Occupying Russia are in place.
Consider how international sanctions against Occupying Israel would soon improve the lives of all Palestinians!
The UK has nurtured hostility to the 1951 concept of recognising and helping asylum seekers, giving a home to refugees. Is there not a tragic irony that its arms trade and constant investment in US-led international regime change has created so very many? Currently the Pakistan-Afghanistan border boasts up to 1.75 million asylum-seekers/refugees. How many more will Israel’s Collective Punishment and Genocide upon the Palestinians create, to whom the UK may soon be denying sanctuary
Truth is one amongst many casualties.
"Gaza is the Graveyard of International Law!"
Ghada Ageel, Palestinian Refugee.
Friday 20 October 2023
We could almost pretend that it was a new insight, or else something of an underground debate. We could! We could, if only it wasn't for the fact that, in terms of scale and 'attendance,' it presents rather more like a gigantic map of the UK, buried under all manner of makeshift stalls, trestle tables and the like, various vehicles, yawning car boots. Rather like a massive Car-boot Sale! Except for one more, major detail...
You and I, we're not invited. It's not quite 'Invitation Only' and yet, it sort of is. Security on the door has been known to get more than a tad heavy handed, also a bit handsy; they look very Met to me- Thugs for Hire!- and watch out- no, seriously- for those Bad Apples!
Truth is it's almost all been sold off, anyway.
'Old Hat, New Hat.' The hours I spent buried in the pages of this wonderful book. 'Old Hat, New Hat.' and 'Bears in the Night.' were read regularly, several times a day, repeatedly through the early evenings, often well into the latter parts, during every visit of my Granddaughter, up until a few years back; indispensible during a sleepover. I don't know if the authors (Stan and Jan Berenstain) were playing around with the old cliché- not what you think- or not, when they chanced upon the title. Either way the book was invaluable, now both a treasured keepsake as well as a wealth of warm memories.
Darker by far, the term might also be applied to the number of times that ownership of the Media has been broached by any from a higher calibre of journalists. The 'Free' Press, dontcha know! Such a refreshing thought, such a misleading term. It means 'free from state ownership,' not 'free from disingenuous ownership,' nor 'editorial misuse,' nor, ultimately, 'state control.' Albeit, not direct, or more-obvious, state control. The debate, in so far as it ever gets that far, is Old Hat. But...
Here are the 'major' (national) newspapers in a nutshell- one overly-long paragraph sub-divided into four shorter ones. Ownership is highly incestuous- it would not look pretty in a family tree. The Metro is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust plc, the same Daily Mail that boasted Paul Dacre at the helm. Dust away the surface detritus and we find Viscount Rothermere as Chair and controlling shareholder. The London Evening Standard falls under the same DMGT group. George Osborne was Editor, 2017 until earlier in 2023, former Chancellor of the Austerity drive, recently recognised as causing some 330,000 excess deaths in the UK, Chancellor of the infamous Two Child Benefit Cap.
The Daily Mirror is owned by Reach plc, which in turn envelops the Daily Express and the Daily Star. Reach plc is massive, owner of some 83 print publications. Chairman of the Board is one Nicholas Prettejohn, who is also a Trustee of the BBC, also Chairman of TSB Bank. CEO of Reach plc is one Jim Mullen, former CEO of merged Ladbrokes Coral (gambling cartel). The i used to boast somewhat of a different slant to most other high street brands, but in 2019 the Daily Mail and General Trust sucked in also this publication. The Financial Times breaks with the pattern, falling under the ownership of Japanese holding company, Nikkei. Deputy Editor is Patrick Jenkins.
The Daily Record is sister paper to the Sunday Mail, one amongst the earlier mentioned 83 Reach plc print publications. The Guardian, formerly the Manchester Guardian, is owned by the Scott Trust Group (ltd since 2008). The paper, with the Observer, took something of a strange turn with the loss of Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger in 2015, since when a whole string of its more robust journalists started drifting away, some more urgently than others. Current Editor-in-Chief is Katherine Viner, who 'worked' her way up through the Australian Guardian route. Viner quickly dropped much of the paper's more investigative thrust, cutting loose those such as Edward Snowden, completely abandoning Julian Assange, throwing Labour under the since discredited anti-Semitism replacement-bus-service.
We know about Rupert Murdoch’s Sun. The Times comes under the News UK umbrella, in turn News Corp and there we have it again, Murdoch. The Daily Telegraph is owned by the wider Telegraph Media Group ltd, a subsidiary of Press Holdings, owned by the billionaire Barclay Twins (David and Frederick). TMG's acquisition of the Spectator magazine is unlikely to interfere with the magazine's ult-right trajectory. Current Editor is Faser Nelson, recruited by Andrew Neil in 2001. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the UK's 'free' press!
Within the 'wonderful' Bastion of democracy that is the House of Commons- the Houses of Commons and the Lords- there are hundreds of what are so innocently termed All-Party Parliamentary Groups. According to certain 'choice' parliamentarians they would likely be described as a means by which various issues of national importance are discussed and 'progressed' by our 'trusted' parliamentary representatives. Excluding the notable blip of 2020 the number of such APPGs has increased steadily, every year since 2016, from 555, increasing to 755 in 2022. Naively, we could think in terms of 'the wheels of democracy.' We'd be naive to do so. But these wheels are very well oiled, so well oiled, in fact, that, were there more actual journalism and rather less client journalism, a suspicious, raised eyebrow might be warranted.
'APPGs have no formal place in the legislature, but are an effective way of bringing together parliamentarians and interested stakeholders.' Lifted straight from Wikipedia. There are questions which have not been asked nearly often enough:
- Which non-governmental organisations are being invited to participate in any discussions?
- Which members of parliament receive 'donations' from these 755 (and counting) groups or their respective funders?
- How much do they receive?
- How and by whom are these APPGs funded?
Hidden amongst the 755, there is the Institute of Economic Affairs. The group would like to be thought of as a 'free market think tank,' an 'educational research institute.' The IEA would boast that they are, 'entirely independent of any political party,' also that they are, 'entirely funded by voluntary donations.' The IEA 'does no contract work,' and it 'accepts no money from government.' Thatcher liked to park her think tanks upon all manner of other people's lawns. In the spirit of safeguarded openness any institute or group may choose to reveal that it is funded by the IEA, choose, or choose not!. But from whence does the IEA gather these funds? The unit is tight lipped but this much is known- 'Funding undisclosed. Some funding from fossil fuel industry, gambling industry, and tobacco industry.' The IEA is registered as a UK charity; it is one of 755 APPGs currently operating in UK parliament. Few in MSM ever seem to point out, or even imply, that those with the largest monetary funds are necessarily able to donate greater volumes, therefore exert ever greater influence.
Britain's Conservatives have been masters at dressing up their more dubious motives in all manner of fancier clothing. Prior to the UK thinking it had 'freely voted' to leave the EU, there was the European Research Group (ERG), Chairman, Mark Francois and others such as Steve Baker, Chris Grayling, Michael Gove. During the Global Pandemic there was the Covid Recovery Group (CRG), Steve Baker again! Such dysfunctional individuals dressed up in new finery! A fawning BBC would, and will, dutifully invite (say) 'Spokesperson for the European Recovery Group,' to proffer 'expert insight' as and when listeners might require a nudge. Fanfares can be imagined, 'expert insight' largely feigned but, otherwise, afforded way, way too much air time! In similar vein the national broadcaster will happily chuckle along with the Editor from The Spectator, pondering the day's newspaper headlines. Two nutshells: ERG's sole purpose was to selectively search out anti-EU rhetoric. CRG's role was to find any means by which to undermine any form of lockdown during the pandemic, always positioning profit above human life.
Not an APPG- although funds may be forthcoming should the cause tickle Tony's fancy- we have the Tony Blair Institute for Global Affairs (TBI). Tony also has a highly deserved reputation for parking his think tanks upon other people's lawns. Irony we might think, but no! Tony plans to use his TBI to intervene in order to re-energise the 'centre ground,' 'African governance' and 'Middle East policy.' Whoa! Seriously? What, again?
Tony is also guarded about funding, although revenue has now climbed to well in excess of £80 millions. Try digging and there is the legal clarification that 'the Institute is under no duty to disclose donors or donations.' It is known that various funds have found their ways Tony-wards, from Saudi Arabia, Media Investment Ltd and the US State Department. So, all good there! Tony wants his TBI to, "give governments good solid advice. " Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, has been known to turn to Tony's TBI as a warm source of unofficial advice. Tony's TBI is active in almost 40 countries- no tanks necessary!- as of January 2023.
Heaving the Overton Widow to huge personal advantage, Tony would describe his TBI as 'Centre Left.' Upon taking up the inevitable mantle of UK Premier, it will be interesting- concerning, alarming- to discover just how many of its staff Labour HQ and Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, recruit from the TBI. There will at least be someone for Peter Mandleson to talk to. 'Good solid advice!'
The means by which political parties and organisations may be funded is another issue which is regarded as 'Old Hat.' For 'old hat' it may (wrongly) be substituted as 'moved on from.' Political Parties are still legally required to disclose their donors and, for the most part, they comply. Here, we may identify the entire purpose of APPGs and similar groups. We can think we know where the funds are sourced but, ultimately we know nothing of the sort.
Whilst the likes of Life Peer, Baron John Mann, Government Adviser on anti-Semitism, slinks about in Governmental corridor shadows, shouting at appointed targets, jabbing index finger like a weapon, and fellow life peer, Baron Walney, John Zak Woodcock, Adviser on Political Violence and Disruption, tries his best to move on from his own shadow of allegations of sexual harassment, we may rest assured that GB News and Talk Radio will remain at liberty to peddle their own particular slant upon 'Free Speech!' Suitably selective. Enriching political discourse.
A global fear is that at some point in the indeterminate future of the 21st Century, inevitably, certain higher calibre journalists will be able to document the (current) Second Nakba, the 'Ethnic Cleansing' of Palestinians from the Northern half of Occupied Gaza. That is assuming that the Israeli Government and the IDF tanks stop at 'half.' Currently the UK Government, and UK 'Opposition' Parties endorsed 'Collective Punishment' of Gazan Palestinians- an actual 'War Crime'- is just too painful to watch or to listen to. "The first casualty of war is truth." Hiram Johnson's words may well feature, maybe they will be revised and repackaged, as suitable for the political environment within which we now reside. Suffice to point out that the Truth succumbed several years back. Brave beyond our imagining, honourably collecting and collating evidence, the International Centre for Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has issued an intent to prosecute PM Sunak and several fellow Conservatives for complicity in Israeli War Crimes. Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, Director of ICJP, has put on record that "If you know that a party is going to commit a War Crime – and this forcible transfer of people is a precise breach of one of the statutes that governs international law and all states in this area – then you are making yourself complicit." MP Blunt went on to clarify that "being complicit makes you equally guilty to the party carrying out the crime." Even within the most right-wing UK Conservative Party of modern times, it seems, there is greater freedom of conscience than that afforded by Starmer's and General Secretary David Evans's Labour Party.
In April MP Dianne Abbott penned a clumsy letter, setting out ‘her’ hierarchy of racism. Further, she went so far as to post the ‘idea.’ Had she been any from a vast swathe of fellow MPs, instead targeting any from a selection of other communities, the letter would almost certainly have swiftly been brushed under the carpet, 'explained' as foolhardy misspeak, but she isn’t, she’s the UK’s first black female (Labour) MP and a proud socialist. Without being able to ask and confirm it seems [to me] probable that the e-mail would not have seen the light of day had Labour’s anti-Semitism charade not been orchestrated. Her means to communicate with any wider public was quickly, and almost without dissenting ripple, retracted.
I am not the writer to rise to the immense challenge of documenting a Second Nakba. If, however, I were, I would feel compelled to contextualise the ongoing War Crimes. Highly pertinent has to be the ongoing Israeli Military Occupation, the ongoing targeting and murder of thousands of innocent Palestinians, the IDF sniper fire, the IDF air strikes, the lurch further to the right of successive Israeli Governments, the imprisonment and torture of thousands of innocent Palestinians. Obviously, I'd need to clarify that such has been the ongoing situation in Occupied Palestine for many decades prior to 7th October 2023. Without contextualisation the Human Rights abuses by Hamas absolutely cannot properly be written about, regardless of what disingenuous individuals may fabricate or deflect. Eager to validate this imagined book, I’d also need to accurately condemn Hamas, but accurately so. I’d have to be careful not to go wading in with all manner of reactionary hearsay. “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” If the words are those of Mark Twain then Twain's insight into current MSM has proven spookily prophetic. I’m certain that there exists more than adequate evidence with which to condemn the group, yet I’d still need to ratify each and every cited piece of evidence. I'd hate to be labelled as some form of liar!
Following on from the horrific attack at the Northern Gazan border, 06:30 Saturday 7th October, newspaper headlines (see 2A) tended significantly to favour inflammatory over accuracy. “40 babies were murdered.” One IDF soldier ‘revealed’ to one reporter, “they chop off the heads of women and children!” Truly horrific, indeed, and it is certain that the attacks were horrific! One IDF, maybe the same, soldier said that, “40 babies were murdered!” Even in the Telegraph the solitary soldier’s words remain unverified. An eager Turkish reporter, present when the words were spoken, was also unable to verify the quote. But, as Twain may once have observed, the ‘words’ were already off and spreading like wildfire! Several high profile BBC and other ‘journalists’ chose to go with an unverifiable kernel rather than to investigate further. Some of these individuals duly rounded upon others who elected to hang fire. The BBC came under fire from various parties. The BBC can be too subtle in its uneven-handedness for some commentators. BBC (World) News tweeted that Israelis had “been killed,” whereas Palestinians had (passively) “died.” This is hierarchical reporting.
Never one for waiting, Richard Madeley came bursting through, dragging the 'safety curtains in his wake like some sort of deranged Biblical-esque villain, invoking WW2. "A lot of civilians, German civilians were killed and nobody, at the time, made any excuses or apologies for that. They just saw it as a necessary evil! Is that a fair parallel?" No, it isn't, Richard, for all manner of reasons, every one of which you are unlikely not to shout down. Richard's forte is not with news reportage.
Israeli Minister for National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has boasted he will “issue 10,000 rifles to settlers in the West Bank,” many of whom are increasingly dressing as militia, where Palestinian homes and wells are still being bull-dozed and settlers are already daily killing their Arab neighbours.
Likud-compliant ‘news’ channel i24 seems to be the source of the “beheading” claim- the IDF, now ‘reservist,’ soldier remains generic, unidentified- the reporter was Nicole Zedek. A single, unconfirmed claim has travelled, “half way round the world before,” honest journalism has gotten, “its boots on.” Although, in reality, it has travelled much, much further than this.
Away from the headlines reporters have, thus far, failed to secure confirmation. The Israeli Defence Force has said it, “cannot confirm.” An IDF spokesperson was more specific. Major Nir Dinar insisted that the IDF were, “not going to investigate,” they were, “not going to comment publicly.” He made it clear that [we] “don’t need proof,” that it was, “disrespectful to the dead.” [We] “don’t need evidence,” [we] are, “not going to look for it.” Several reporters have pressed Israeli government and the IDF but the line is currently being held.
The ground is laid for the coming of a second Nakba. US, UK and other Western Governments continue to cherry-pick through literal, figurative, structural and human annihilation, remains and 'rubble.' Starmer has, repeatedly, endorsed Israeli ‘Collective Punishment,’ upon the Gazan population, so much so that Labour is currently haemorrhaging councillors. Lammy and Sue Grey have been tasked with shoring up the flow. Perhaps ICJP will look also to prosecute several of His Majesty's Opposition? Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, James Spencer Cleverly, continues to bluster when confronted with the gathering facts, regarding Israeli 'War Crimes,' ‘Forced Transference’ of over one million Palestinians from Northern Gaza- to where precisely? Human Rights Watch is battling to gather evidence, in both instances, of 'War Crimes' on the part of Israel. Formerly, the organisation has declared Israel to be operating as an apartheid state, as has Amnesty International and B’tselem, top Israeli Human Rights group. Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the IDF is using white phosphorus in Gaza. Amnesty is also investigating. Israel's historical record of Human Rights abuses continues to grow. 'Crimes of Apartheid' established, Israel has surpassed the South African threshold. The Norwegian Refugee Council has recognised the Israeli onslaught as a 'War Crime' of 'Forcible Transfer.' The nation's 'Crimes of Aggression' and 'War Crimes' continue to spiral. As of 6th October 2023 Hamas is known to have committed atrocities in the region bordering Northern Gaza. Since when Israel has argued itself 'Immune' from gathering evidence of 'Crimes Against Humanity,' 'Crimes of Aggression,' perhaps yet 'Genocide', and more general 'War Crimes.' Internaionnal law will judge accordingly, with due regard to the evidence. The US, standing erect between US and Israeli flags, will veto!
War on Want has joined the call for Israel to avoid civilians but Israel has seldom bowed to outside pressure. The organisation believes that Israeli 'War Crimes' are currently accumulating daily. The IDF has targeted civilian tower blocks, burying numerous Palestinians at ten-minute warnings. With food running out, several bakeries have been reduced to rubble. There is evidence of the targeting of order-compliant retreating convoys, at ambulances, given IDF clearance, being targeted on site, doctors being lost to IDF aggression. Gazan hospitals are being treated as 'legitimate' targets by Israel, ordered to evacuate its patients at two hour's notice. 'War Crimes' of 'Forced Transfer' and 'Collective Punishment.' Ice cream trucks are being used to store bodies. Over two-thousand miles away Home Secretary, Suella Braverman has responded by attempting to legislate against the Palestinian flag, should 'War Crime' objectors demonstrate too much compassion. Labour General secretary, David Evans, has told members, “they must not, under any circumstance,” attend any demonstration of compassion for Palestinians being slaughtered. Precious time to sit with family and listen to stories such as 'Old Hat, New Hat,' is not to be afforded Palestinian infants.
Seventy miles to the North-East, in the Occupied West Bank, whilst attending the funeral of Palestinians murdered by Israeli Settlers, a father and his son were shot dead by those same Settlers attacking the funeral procession. Obviously this is not the type of terrorism Home Secretary Braverman, PM Sunak, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Cleverly, nor Opposition Leader Starmer have in mind when they pontificate about Terrorism. Hamas, we are lectured, has passed an, invisible and different threshold to that of the Israeli Settlers.
Médecins sans Frontières has reported upon an air strike upon a packed Gazan hospital! The charity reported unrelenting bombing by IDF, one powerful missile striking the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Northern Gaza. The blast is the latest in a long history of Israeli 'War Crimes' against Palestinians, to be misrepresented via MSM. The blast happened at 18:59 local time,17th October- captured on camera- killing hundreds, many already injured Palestinians but also Gazans sheltering because they had hoped the hospital would be safer than other parts of the city. US President Biden has been quick to cuddle up to his Israeli allies, addressing Israeli President Netanyahu in front of a tapestry of Israeli and US flags- the 'right' kind of flags- Biden cited, likely, "the other team." In one surreal moment of absolute farce, and clutching for a line, Biden was heard to whisper something about still favouring a "two state solution." Dig away, Joe! Raz Segal, an expert in modern genocide has labelled Israel's attack on Gaza, “intent to commit 'Genocide.'”
IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said, "It is clear that IDF did not strike the hospital in Gaza." In front of gathered international journalists Hagari detailed IDF's "intricate analysis," "overseen by the 'very highest levels of command.'" He confirmed that, "there was no IDF fire by land sea or air that hit the hospital." Hagai even shared that the IDF had secured 'very clear' footage of two handy terrorists chatting about the incident; every handy detail (almost as if reading from the script). Hagari pressed that they "wanted to 'double check' everything." Wow, well done! 'Honest' clarification from the people who also 'didn't shoot' Shireen Abu Aqla, except, of course, they did! As several of the attending journalists were well aware, and some made clear, IDF's record of misinformation stretches back decades! Jonathan Cook covered the strike with rather fewer tools yet far greater honesty. He reminded those prepared to take notice, that:
1. 'No Palestinian group has a rocket that can hit a hospital, killing hundreds. What they have are glorified fireworks'
2. 'the video of the strike itself shows that an incredibly large and powerful weapon is used. Listen to the noise the missile makes just before the hit – that whooshing noise is caused by its phenomenal velocity as it cuts through the air. That is *not* the noise of a falling Palestinian rocket.'
3. 'Israel got lucky this time, it seems, and just happened to be listening in when Huey and Louie decided to self-incriminate.'
As the BBC said, "It's hard to see what else this could be, given the size of the explosion." Somehow a number of non-IDF journalists have managed to evade air strikes, although Israel continues to whittle away. The number of those killed is being constantly updated. There is footage of an IDF strike targeting a group of highly-visible journalists, standing clearly apart from Israeli targets, killing one Reuters videographer and injuring six others. Breaking from the official line, an armed Israeli policeman is filmed screaming into the camera! "We will turn Gaza into dust! Into dust!" PM Sunak has travelled to meet President Netanyahu, prior to visiting Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, where non-compliant journalists are treated very differently. In response, presumably not to the Israeli strike on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, instead in order to cement Britain’s blind adherence to colonial values, and to turn a spot-lit blind eye to ongoing 'Ethnic Cleansing.' [We will stand with our] “friend,” [shoulder to shoulder, in] “Israel’s darkest hour.” With a diplomacy, that is only ‘afforded’ the multi-billionaire, PM Sunak swiftly identified where the darkest shadows lay. Perhaps he could not quite see over the horizon? "We want you to win!" Sunak concluded, chilling the blood.
The Gazan hospital was just one of 48 Health Care Facilities targeted since 7th October 2023, said the World Health Organisation (WHO). Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) reported, more than 300 hundred people have been killed, doctors, nurses, patients, children, women and men. Working under the IDF blitz of Northern Gaza, with limited water, limited food, without electricity, and fast diminishing medical supplies, Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) have not the time to gather evidence of accumulating 'War Crimes' of 'Collective Punishment.' Surviving workers have barely had time to report upon the constant air strikes, "causing widespread destruction to civilian life and infrastructure, untold physical and psychological suffering to Palestinians, and the displacement of more than 338,934 people from their homes." An ongoing 'Collective punishment!'
Two weeks ago I sat down to a screening of 'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: The Big Lie,' narrated by Alexei Sayle. This short film is gathering considerable impetus; it's popularity evident in the extra effort that its many viewers have undertaken to attend. Labour General Secretary David Evans believes that here, too, he is the superior arbiter of truth. Again he has intervened- done the heavy lifting- in the thought process, such that members will not have to. Labour does not wish members to attend, nor to acknowledge that such a film even exists. Members are not encouraged to think independently, lest they should cheer or clap in the wrong place, or accidentally wave the wrong design of flag.
Campaign Against Anti-semitism (CAA) boasts itself another non-Governmental Organisation. Its header page 'informs' of its 'volunteer-led charity' status. Self publicity neglects to mention that CAA is currently under investigation for its 'political partisanship,' the ongoing political campaigning undertaken by CAA contravenes 'charity status.' Reported upon by the Civil Society, we are informed that the Charity Commission is assessing concerns. Chief Executive of CAA, Gideon Falter, "worked tirelessly to investigate Labour." Director of Investigations and Enforcement, Stephen Silverman, devotes time to keeping abreast of film screenings of 'The Big Lie,' then contacting venues and badgering for cancellation. David Silverman uses also the Jewish Chronicle as platform for his particular message. The Chronicle has claimed that multiple libel payouts were a small price to pay for 'smearing Corbyn and the Left.' The 'newspaper' has been found to have breached the enfeebled IPSO code of practice at least 28 times, as of September 2021. There have been numerous calls for IPSO to take further action, but then IPSO is both owned and controlled by the very papers it is supposed to regulate. The Jewish Chronicle is frequently cited as the paper in greatest need of far greater regulation. Recognising IPSO for what it is, several other papers have declined to participate in the process- so even this woeful level of regulation is voluntary! Journalist and Activist, Tony Greenstein has identified and more fully exposed CAA's more sinister purpose. CAA hails itself as "almost entirely volunteer" and is reluctant to name major funders, listed as "members of the public." Via JC's 'output' we can, at least, observe that CAA maintains 'contact' with a certain Israeli ideology. The organisation's standard, non-specific threat letter to any venue hoping to screen 'The Big Lie' lays bare its disingenuous 'goals.' Feigning to represent the 'convenient' vagueness of IHRA 'examples,' CAA declines to cite specific examples of anti-semitism in the film because, of course, there are none. Again, the heavy lifting has been assumed.
In the past the Jewish Chronicle's financial woes have been ably resolved via characters such as former PM Teresa May, BBC non-Executive Director Sir Robbie Gibb, former Charity Commission Chairman and 'journalist,' William Shawcross, under his own shadow, Baron Varney, John Zak Woodcock and alleged BBC 'journalist, Jewish Chronicle co-owner and lawfare exponent, John Ware. Despite its multiple legal payouts- "grave” threat of closure due to a series of financial losses."- the Jewish Chronicle seems unlikely to soon succumb. "The Jewish Chronicle would have disappeared but for philanthropic support," said the salvaging consortium. "Philanthropic," no less. “We are not treating the Jewish Chronicle as a commercial venture but as a community asset.” they went on to 'clarify.' 'Asset,' seriously? APPG or charitable trust?
University College London fought hard to reject the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, with good cause- but not quite hard enough- recognising the intended stifling of political debate; a stifling which is increasingly evident in UK media. CAA's deliberately vague targeting of 'The Big Lie' demonstrates this. The Humanitarian Crisis unfolding in Gaza, the manner in which ongoing Israeli 'War Crimes' are being tip-toed around, more than amply illustrates this. If not now, when might we be permitted to openly speak about actual 'Genocide?' Imagine the scene: Fiona Bruce 'unable' to repeat the words 'death cult' as used by Jewish Chronicle Editor, Jake Wallis Simons, to describe Muslims. Members of the Question Time audience are able to call up and read the quote. Wallis Simons (award winning British journalist) afforded platform and time to deny his own words, "I didn't, I didn't!" Fiona Bruce, quote in front of her, 'unwilling to challenge. Question Time stifled? Imagine! No wonder, even Kenneth Stern, drafter of the IHRA definition, has become an outspoken critic of the uses to which it is being put.
Merriam Webster: Journalism: 'Writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.' There are so many would-be or self-described 'journalists' out there, with so many 'takes' upon current affairs, that the merest hint at holding all to such lofty credentials is, surely, now, and currently, irredeemable. It's not that there is not room for 'deeper insight,' thus even 'opinion.' The issue lies with 'uninformed opinion,' presented as fact. The echo chambers of modern discourse have devolved such that many now seek out opinion over fact but then regurgitate it as the former. Where a certain mind-set is at play, this has enabled the usurpation of open debate by confrontation. Home secretary, Suella Braverman's many rants upon 'refugees' and 'asylum-seekers,' or 'pseudo-anti-semitism,' or the 'Palestinian flag' are all just such examples. Braverman does not favour the debate.
Fortunately, there are several excellent Journalists who openly disclose their slant and will then proceed to build an argument upon a foundation of gleaned facts. The entombed Julian Assange was one such- hailed by the old Guardian but not by Katherine Viner's 'revised' version. Jonathan Cook, Grace Blakeley, Ash Sarkar, the late Dawn Foster- definitely not Giles Coren- Ava Evans- definitely not Laurence Fox- Adam Bienkov of Byline Times, Michael Walker; the writers lean into their work, refusing to subjugate facts to 'the message.' Peter Oborne is an interesting one- he has been on something of a 'journey.' Oborne has moved on from his times at the Spectator and the Telegraph and now prefers to build his columns upon thoroughly researched facts. Thus, several of his former platforms have been retracted. Upon his book, 'The Assault on Truth,' the best that former colleagues could muster was, "keeping the receipts," "whereby someone mentally stores the evidence of another’s behaviour, should they ever need it in future." Swerving sharply to the right of the Guardian's distaste for Oborne's factual tome most UK newspapers opted to avoid altogether the book that refused to return a compliment.
Katherine Viner's latest target has been the political cartoonist Steve Bell. Under her editorship the paper's journalistic pool has been steadily whittled away at. Having usurped Rusbridger Viner's first action was to deny the former editor a new role as Chair at the Scott Trust. Steve Bell, dismissed by curt e-mail, follows a long line of more honourable journalists to leave the Guardian to its adjusted course. Human rights lawyer and journalist, Craig Murray, is yet another to have fallen foul of the national narrative, arrested upon his return from Iceland. Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, the rock musician Roger Waters, the playwright David Hare and the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis have all concluded that his arrest has been more of a witch-hunt; Murray has espoused, perhaps, one too many non-compliant causes?
For the discerning viewer and listener there are several platforms which do not necessarily follow the current narrative, more so where it has been found to be short on fact and honesty. The platforms tend to be less well patronised by the billionaire classes, the real estate owners, the upper tiers of societal inequalities, less well advertised. Their journalists are less likely to be asked to add insight to the BBC's news programmes.
Here's the thing, though, World renowned national broadcaster, the BBC, stands upon the unique platform of Governmental(ish)-and-self-declared impartiality! The BBC repeatedly boasts of 'news coverage without favour or political bias.' Fiona Bruce and others in similar roles are supposed to 'speak truth to power,' not sit on their hands and decline to challenge the interviewee, when half an audience and F.B. herself, could so easily elect to further the debate. Not to shut things down and [I want to] "move on!"
Russian Ambassador to the UK has shocked the nation in an interview with the BBC. Confronted with images of razed hospitals and tales of retreating civilian convoys being targeted by Russian Su-25 fighter jets, Andrei Kelin firmly stated that, "There is no humanitarian crisis." Ambassador Kelin went on to accuse Ukraine of harbouring Nazis, arguing that this is a war of "Good versus evil!" Asked about the likelihood of peace talks in the immediate future, Kelin went on to envoke the Second World War: "You don't speak about peace when Nazi Germany are attacking the whole of Western Europe." [We are] "fighting pure evil!" Shocking and to be roundly condemned!
Except, of course, the words have been lifted straight from a Sky News interview with Kay Burley. The interviewee was not in fact Russian Ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, speaking for a nation with whom the UK has an increasingly strained relationship. Instead it was Tzipi Hotovely, Israeli Ambassador to the UK, speaking on behalf of "one of the UK's 'dearest' and 'closest' allies," a nation UK Parliament and MSM seems incapable of condemning for multiple accumulating 'War Crimes,' against an almost-wholly unarmed civilian population.
It's as simple as A,B,C 1,2,3! But "The Middle East is complicated."
But, seriously, It's never that complicated!
Wednesday 4 October 2023
I've cycled a fair few miles this year, most recent years, generally avoiding the heavier traffic, targeting the quieter country lanes. Observations would be that the weather's been rather on the damp side, the air not as on fire as is that further south, around the Mediterranean for example. Numbers of Swifts and Hirundines (Swallows and Martins), if anything, may even be up a squeak upon last year's alarmingly poor showing. Butterfly populations, with the notable exception of Silver-washed Fritillaries and Red Admirals, continue to plummet. Bee populations have nose-dived! Now, solo rider as I often am, I recognise that my observations offer mere anecdotal, route specific, information but...
The 'insect narrative'- insect apocalypse- butterflies more specifically, would have it that the preceding and higher-than-average-summer-temperatures have had significant impact upon several key species. Significant? Maybe. Certainly the farming lobby is implying as much, guardians of the countryside that they are, except to note...
Given that the farming community continues also to spread toxic reservoirs of pesticides- over 150 varieties- across England's green and 'pleasant' lands, maybe, just maybe, they're not the best people with whom to have entrusted the land in the first instance. Their particular (farming lobby) narrative argues that the hot summers are to blame. Mmmm! Since 'taking back control' an additional 36 pesticides, banned by the EU, are now free to bleed into the landscape. Dutifully, the EU kept a concerned eye upon the Monsato world view. We should probably count blessings that Bayer's 2016 acquisition of the giant managed to precede the UK's 2017 goose step to the right!
By all means, justly curse the water monopolies for pumping millions into shareholder pockets, whilst doing the same with effluent and excrement into our rivers and coastal waters but we should also be aware that the farmers continue to produce the bulk of the pollution. And, in so doing, they are contributing majorly to an...
The water companies may be ably assisting with the poisoning but they're not yet the ones grubbing out the hedgerows and repurposing land away from wildlife. Except where it may be artificially preserved for bloody sports! The Water Companies are not the ones responsible for allowing animal excrements and nitrates to leach into the water tables and to weep, puss-like, into our rivers. The water company's touch is a far more human one. BBC's Countryfile works hard at filtering and remoulding public consciousness, more's the pity they can't assist with filtering out some of the effluent the farmers are producing.
A recent government pledge to abandon (also) the tiny remnant protection for our waterways, this time at the behest of the 'developer' lobbyists, may yet cause the burden of annihilation to shift. We can sense TBI's Starmer cabinet spinning up through the gears of change. One million new homes! Wow, almost a quarter of the shortfall that's been manufactured under this same government. Watch those dead-eyed client journos pretend not to have noticed the slight of hand.
On a recent summer's afternoon I stopped to stand and stare at a huge acreage of Red Clover. The adjacent country lane had long since been closed-off to transport, excepting bikes and pedestrians; Bramble was snaking across the tarmac from the verges. I watched the pink landscape for well over ten minutes and managed to detect not one single Honey Bee. Two Bumblebees, just about double digits of Hoverflies, one Brown China-Mark Moth and, perhaps, as many as twenty, either Large or Small, White Butterflies, but no Honey Bees! So determined was I to find at least one that I wandered up and down the adjacent lane (the aforementioned totals include this) eventually giving up and riding onward. Modern farming obliterating the Butterflies...
Silencing the Crickets!
No more the quiet chirrup in the long grass, the crack of leather on willow!
Decimating the moths, obliterating the hoverflies, wiping out the beetles and the bugs, thus starving the spiders, enacting a bee apocalypse. But, never fear the grown-ups are back in charge! And, at the eleventh hour, the planet is surely to be saved. Again! And yet again, from the very same gang that drove us here in the first place. Wave some flags, why don't we?
There is an accumulating raft of statistics and facts, that will be pawed over at some indeterminate time in the future, that various non-client 'journalists' and other authors, social scientists, may reference to chart the demise of 21st Century UK, perhaps Western society, hopefully not yet the entire modern world. Who will, then, want or have the time to stop and to reminisce about the former planet we once held? Increasingly, we find ourselves bumping along the bottom, pseudo-functioning at the behest of many of the absolute worst individuals that could ever have been envisaged at the helm. Whether it be global warming- with troughing days numbered Sunak ($1.5 billion in the pocket) now barely even troubles to disguise the corruption- mass species extinction, pollution of our waterways, other forms of pollution, decimation of public services, housing (home ownership and rental), public health and the NHS- both Starmer and Streeting continue to work with private health-care companies, inequality, private monopoly takeovers (privatisation and stealth), eroded democracy, media ownership and messaging, the list is beyond alarming! All of those here listed fully apply to the UK but wildfire expansion of the neoliberal conflagration is spreading fast to engulf also many other nations.
Sacrificing the Honey Bees!
Sugar for the paparazzi. Keeping the buzzing inside the tent.
There's also the monetisation of seemingly everything! Beware, wherever there are private interests with hands in the jar, fat-cat CEOs to cloak in ermine and to dine, shareholder skimming to be done, the profit motive, then there will be leaks! Small leaks, big leaks, expanding leaks! Leaking and leeching from the many to the very few! Prominent amongst a sparsity of Labour election ideas is the one to bring in private lobbyists to 'work' upon (thus insert) Reeves's ideas to grow the economy. It's like something out of a recurring neoliberal nightmare!
Let's focus upon the monetisation of sport! Narrow it down, specifically, to the monetisation of cricket. Chart an...
Absence of Cricketers.
Hobbling into my mid-sixties, I grew up watching Test Cricket. The first series that I can still clearly recall was England at home to Pakistan in the summer of 1974, Geoff Arnold's swing bowling and Derek Underwood's 'deadly' spin on a sticky wicket! The sublime batting of first Zaheer Abbas, then Dennis Amiss, only black-and-white but really so much better than its five-decades-evolved counterpart. The cricket stayed on throughout the day, Sundays were set aside as a Christian-Empire rest day! No adverts! Nobody seriously thought to deny viewers access to their national side, playing at home. Well, maybe Kerry Packer, maybe the then little-known spawn of a Mr and Mrs Murdoch. Where was contraception when we needed it?
In glorious full black-and-white, 'twas possible to watch as Underwood systematically out-thought, toyed with and set up the batsman, in real time. I don't recall whether there were even replays, whether, if one missed the wicket, one had to wait until the half-hour highlights programme in the late evening. And, if one didn't catch that, that was it! Missed! How cricket coverage has moved on, except...
Has it? Has it really? Moved on?
2023, forty-nine years worth of technical advances later, one may access a full hour's worth of Technicolor highlights, at any time that suits, as many times as one wishes. But, this comes at the expense of the full day's coverage, which has been whisked away behind a pay-wall. After England's eventual triumph in the one day World Cup, I took the trouble to pen a letter to the England and Wales Cricket Board; even got a reply requesting that I give the then Chairman a phone call to discuss any grievances. Which I declined to do, he wasn't upon the verge of conversion, but he was being jolly well remunerated! Jolly well!
I was not a spin bowler but I didn't need to be in order to appreciate the range of subtleties incorporated into the spinner's repertoire. The guile the bowler employs when adjusting length, speed of trajectory and width, maybe targeting the footmarks, maybe giving some air. And, when the spinner's a wrist spinner, a leg-break bowler, or someone as skilful as Ravi Ashwin (India), or the sadly missed Shane Warne, or the since retired Graham Swann! One simply cannot be expected to appreciate what's properly behind the wicket that just happened when one has only witnessed the single ball being bowled.
Or a Pollock and Donald spell of fast bowling, Gough and Caddick, Lillie and Thompson, Harmison and Flintoff, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram, Anderson and Broad. Half-a-dozen random balls cannot even begin to capture the sheer willpower of an innings like Atherton's against the rage of a fired-up Alan Donald- when the umpire has missed an off-the-face caught behind, or Bob Willis's famous rout of the Australians. Wickets and selected shots just doesn't cut it!
Listen to radio coverage- it used to work so wonderfully well with the TV volume tuned down- and one thing that none of the commentators, nor the guests, seems prepared or able to talk about is the loss of one of the nation's key sports to Murdoch's pay-wall. The BBC website- all the highlights!- might boast about a poll to pick the best side ever! How would we know? The very idea illustrates the chosen avenue. I doubt John Edrich would have given much thought to the matter.
There's money to be made, for those on the inside track! The ICC and the ECB have the skimming down pat! In 2020 more money was gambled on cricket than on any other sport, and that was before the introduction of the latest cash cow, The Hundred! Last thing they want is another racism controversy. Very neatly reverse-swept under the carpet! Rocking the boat, who's in and who's out? And not the small leaky ones, more like ocean-going luxury cruisers, these. Exclusive stuff!
Whisper it- the talkSport commentators daren't- but the gambling cartels are raking it in! Why else would we 'need' The Hundred? Bet on anything! Curiously, the gambling CEOs don't, they've invested shrewdly (covertly) in the Commons- 19 Tory and 9 Labour MPs. And, when the fun stops...
talkSport are owned by the Wireless Group, in turn owned by Murdoch's News Corp- all roads lead to formerly Rome, since when bought up by Uncle Rupert! Sports betting in 2021 amounted to $194.63 billion, an annual increase of $173 billion on the previous year. And, we dream to wonder why MPs have not better addressed the nation's booming gambling crisis! Breaths will not be held!
It's not really my ticket but I did listen to England's first (2023) 20Twenty defeat of New Zealand, then tune in for the highlights in the evening. Beggars and all that... It's a very poor substitute for Test Cricket but, the ratios improve, 240 balls trimmed down to an hour(ish) offers a greater spread of the game.
An enabling paparazzi. A defunct media.
Except... no longer does an hour's highlights actually equate to an hour's highlights. The programme will commence with the customary chat- a selection of insiders will impart scene-setting noise at the outset, and when a spinner's wicket does occur replays will be shown from, yes, square-leg! Where better to fully appreciate the degree of spin? A change of innings and why not wheel out a different set of talking heads. And, don't forget to allocate time for the after-match analysis, so perhaps half-an-hour, maybe, if we're lucky? Toblerone boundaries may injure the occasional fielder but note the extra advertising revenue! Wrestle the coverage away from the BBC and be sure, in the ad. breaks, to notice the happy face of the fictional gambling winner! Why, it's almost as if the editors know nothing about cricket... or gambling. But, they will be very well aware that their's is currently a slice of the largest share of something well in excess of $194.63 billion! No wonder the Test scene is under threat, no wonder free-to-air isn't getting the gig, no wonder the commentators are so well suited up. Just like with used-up former PMs, there's £millions in that pot! Tuck in! Austerity's not for that lot!
Bereft of the cricket we grew to love in our youths, still we would be naive to think the carve-up has yet concluded. Listen to former captain, now Sky-voice-box, Michael Vaughan, and the shadow of 'The Hundred' lurks behind every pause, every intake of breath. The current Sun-comic alternative preference of 'choice'- although not ours'- where upon each and every boundary will be accompanied by Marvel Comic styled graphics- 'Bish!' 'Bash!' 'Bosh!'- wickets will flash with epileptic threat! The Hundred, where the children of the CEOs, the Chairpeople, the Directors, have been let loose with the graphics toys.
In stark contrast to the UK's visible plummeting Cricket populations the International Cricket Council has ballooned to such immense proportions of wealth such as to feeding-frenzy-threaten even itself, or parts thereof. Lord Woolf's long since ignored report into the governance of the International Cricket Council rather proves the point. Woolf recommended the restructuring, mainly financial, of the executive board but, in the scene where the biggest cockroaches feast upon the smaller ones, too late, the even bigger Board of Control for Cricket in India rejected and ignored all proposals. The IPL has bloated to the point where it may now take well in excess of 2 $billion per game! Humanity may have rather tended to consider itself above the lesser species, those that might defecate the nest, or consume younger siblings as a snack, yet sheer greed has shown this not to be the case. India, England and Australia lord the burrow, the smaller Test nations would do well to look elsewhere. The human species feasts openly upon itself, the minnows count the costs.
Like a fast food victim who needs to be winched out through the roof, the ICC has now relocated from Lords, to where the taxes are even fewer and the checks absent altogether, Dubai! Where, curious by-product of wet dishcloth and wasp-chewing bulldog, Giles Clarke and, cleared of match fixing, apparently?, Narayanaswami Shrinivasan may further snuffle up the game. Son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, was (purely coincidentally) found guilty of illegal betting. No relation, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, was banned for life for spot-fixing, also coincidentally. But Narayanaswami Shrinivasan was cleared, apparently. No, really!
Silencing fans of Cricket!
Fleecing the addicts!
Bet now! And remember, when the fun stops!
It pretty much already has for many who still remember. And, what's left? Well...
It's just not cricket!
Warning signs! If ever they were needed, or indeed to be heeded- but that would require an actual free media, as opposed to a freed-up billionaire-auctioned media- Giles Clarke began as yet another investment banker- no rhyming pun intended- then on to wines, then pets, then bulk storage. He has had fingers in Adult Learning, the Council of the European Union, Theatre and Disfigurement 'charity' Changing Faces. Currently Clarke is Chairman and controlling shareholder at Westleigh Investments, which dabbles in telecommunications, event catering, gun sports, independent schools software and silicon chips. At Somerset, where he was Chairman (definitely not 'chairperson!'), he worked with gun-toting 'charmer,' now Lord Botham. Promoted up the ladder, to non-executive director of the ECB- where I suspect I once briefly caught up- where he 'negotiated' (negotiated, mind) a four year TV and Radio deal with BSkyB, Five (Radio) and (minimally) the BBC. In 2015 he rose, as so often do certain substances, to President of the ECB. Knighted in 2012, of course he was. He has worked with, now convicted, American financier Allen Stanford, whereupon Kevin Pietersen briefly floated back to the surface. Warning signs indeed! Somewhat larger, decidedly less inclined to interview, immeasurably more wealthy, Clarke latterly appears to have adopted more of the wet dishcloth, marginally less wasp-chewing bulldog. But that's because he's so very far removed from the likes of us, so very shielded from questions that might elicit the wasp-in-the-mouth side.
Like the most exquisite jigsaw puzzle, each and every invertebrate slots precisely into place, onward and upward to incorporate the entire animal kingdom, the living environment, an evolved balance between feasting and being feasted upon...
Violence evolved into a perfect living art-form! And yet...
The most bloated of the globe's Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) seek to misrule it all to their own designs.
Like the most deranged jigsaw imaginable, imperfectly overlaid- because nothing actually fits- in such manner that every tumour bleeds poison into each and every neighbouring mismatched tumour- transport, education, health, medicine, war, international aid, refugees, warfare, welfare, lawfare, environment, energy, utilities, wildlife, housing, employment, food, retirement, entertainment, sport, cricket, inequality, democracy, media, information, technology, etc, etc, etc...
As Giant Jenga, modified in celebration of today's greedaholic, or the most urgent yet conceived 'to do' list, we could bicker as to how to structure the tower. A game for all the family as the planet goes down the drain.
(Grenfell, Windrush, Media Phone Hacking, Hillsborough, Orgreave) Productivity
Loss of habitat
Housing (rental sector)
Weaponisation of anti-Semitism
Detention of Refugees (UK)
Warfare and the Arms Trade
Violence re-imagined unto ugly oblivion!
Greed begets greed, begets greed...
Beware not only the short-pitched bowling!
Now that the reins are entirely in the grasping claws of such shadowy business men as Clarke, sorry Lord Clarke (Rugby School), and Narayanaswami Shrinivasan, I think still at liberty at time of publication, squirrelled away to non-cricketing Dubai, those of us who still recall the glory of Test Cricket, free to air, may wonder at the diminution of the 'lesser' Test Nations. Lift the 'Astroturf' and watch the IPL feasting upon the lesser Test Nations. There are just so many, curiously so wide-eyed, former and current players and commentators with at-least-half-a-handle upon what is happening. But dare they speak out and risk upsetting that lumbering gravy train? For clues, listen to the former Test Players, those most comfortably nestled in the Sky networks, the Hundred Teams. Listen between the words and watch their eyes! Torn or committed? Monetise the players, monetise the fans, and discard the rest. Which is RAAC and which is sound?
For the concerned cricketing onlooker 'Death of a Gentleman' is a must watch documentary. I think that so much of 'society' might be similarly detailed and described. The bloated foreign dictator threat has become something of a dead cat, we should be far more concerned with the bloated dictators currently embedded in every fibre of what we once almost held. Threaten to tip the cart and watch the bloaters react. Why, they might even label you as an anti-Semite!
Massacring true Cricket! Banqueting the Cockroaches!
It's just not Cricket!